This post is on the day of the US election. Sometimes I think I must sound like a broken record but one more time, with feeling. This election is vitally important because it will determine not just the future US President but the future of the nation, with impact on the world of business, economics and globalization.
The Innovation Economy is an emergent economic paradigm for the planet. One third of US GDP is from innovation industries engaged in making or using technology. Innovation is not just about technology but the use of technology to enable business. Innovation: key technologies, processes, systems, methods will bring prosperity, peace and productivity that will bring democracy and a better world for the planet.
America has always been the leading global innovator, the New World driving new technologies like the Internet, nanotech, biotech and computing. This election, beyond the politics, is about the Innovation Economy. We need to get this right. And now.
This election, and the leader that emerges must be a catalyst for enabling innovation to move faster, deeper and with more financial investments to keep America competitively strong but also to continue to drive the next generation of innovations that enable not just the US economy but the world economy. America has contributed much to the world as far as innovation and tech innovations have transformed business, society and the marketplace.
A deeper connection between the White House and the private sector, regardless who is elected will mean a more viable future for America and the world economy. We must invest deeper in the Innovation Economy to spur on the next stage of prosperity and invention. Immense challenges such as climate change, security, energy shortages, health care access are global challenges not just challenges for America. Without deep investments in advanced next generation technologies: neuro, nano, info, bio, quantum and robotics we will miss a historic opportunity to shape a better future.
By 2025 the global innovation economy will be driver of prosperity, peace and progress on the planet. Technologies such as quantum computing, geoengineering, data science, molecular manufacturing, real time anywhere networks, neuroengineering will transform the global economy–if our leaders invest smartly in the future.
Governance is not just about law and politics. It’s about investing in the future. The next President needs to have a deep understanding of how productivity, peace and progress will be enabled by–the Innovation Economy. Invest now for our future and the future of the planet.
There is a New Digital Strategy that is just released by the White House. It calls for a revolution in mobile, social, cloud, analytics and the interoperable use of data. It is the most far ranging attempt by any government to get tech savvy. It is part wish list and part logic: if we are going to build the next generation of 21st century governments then we had best rethink how we use technology and then rethink who we are.
Government 2.0 is a paradigm of rethinking what government agencies do, how they serve citizens and how they could operate more cost-effectively and be innovative in an era of complex change. The use of technology with work process transformation and better strategic planning is part of this model. Also, how they prepare citizens for the future is essential.
There have been many attempts with all administrations since the Internet became a dominant communications revolution to create change, Democrat and Republican alike. Few big changes came about while the private sector has been completely transformed. Government cannot afford in an era of fiscal prudence, yes even under the Democrats not to innovate to reduce costs.
But agencies are very protective of their power and unless the White House takes a stand nothing will happen. So that is what this is, along with more then a policy directive, there are aggressive time tables for each deliverable starting in 90 days. Which is what this should be so it is not just policy directives with no metrics or deliverables.
I think this is a timely and relevant policy shift driven by cost and innovation, or the lack of it. It has been coming for awhile and when I advised under Bush I banged the drum of digital integration as did many more closer to power. Now it is clear that in this climate of Twitter, Apple’s rise, the mobile web, Facebook and this president who has the best record on alienating business of any president, he is trying to demonstrate that he is tech savvy.
Now, to why much of this may not happen. The agencies are traditional bastions of power and hold tight their fiefdoms. Meaning they will not change unless mandated to. Next. There is no additional budget as yet so in essence your asking the agencies to make this very innovative policy directive happen without any new funds. Challenging at best.
On the security, privacy and terrorism issues. This is now in the hands of Depart Homeland Security. I think that there is a confidential counterpart plan to this that addresses these issues as this is DHS’s role and when talking about interoperability and shared data etc. in government the legal issues on use of citizen data access and disclosures are hugely complicated. So rather then complicate the vision here, it is implicit DHS will handle it but this too could not be funded and therefore not a priority versus hard targets like terrorists.
Now a more sinister forecast could play into the intrusion dreams of shared data and preying on citizens and unless you have not been paying attention that horse has left the stable–Big Brother has arrived.
My forecast that I gave to about 80 agencies was that there were going to be three trends facing them within the next 3-7 years that would be driven by higher expectations of performance, customer demands and smaller budgets. There are about 430 agencies making up about $13 Trillion (around same as GDP) of which best accounts are that there is over 30% waste or irrelevancy that we could eliminate if anyone had any guts to do so.
The first is Reduce Government Forecast will affect the lower performing group of agencies that resist innovation and cost cutting and resist rethinking their agencies purpose, work, mandate and customer-facing quality controls (impact on citizens). They would go away. These agencies would be eliminated or be outsourced to private sector companies. FedEx and UPS can do the postal service, should mostly be digital. And on.
The second Government M&A Forecast affects the next group of agencies. They would for similar reasons, basically not performing, get merged and consolidated into other agencies or new ones that have rigorous metrics, like the private sector but around leveraging innovation and serving real needs, with highly intelligent government pros as opposed to special interest agents or providing jobs for political hacks.
The third Government High Performers Forecast, this rewards agencies who transform themselves into innovative, digital, inventive and cost-saving and even profit creating but certainly customer enabling agencies, that derive their power from empowering citizens via better health, education, technology, defense and employment services. I would have them compete with real metrics to win even more budget.
The key, now and whoever the next President will be, is to use this digital mandate to set the stage, get the metrics, see who gets it or not and carve up the rest and get rid of the dead wood. I know this sounds deterministic but this is what needs to happen given fiscal austerity or a growth scenario.
Enabling government to do more with less funds will require a Radical Rethinking of Government. In a recent keynote in Washington DC I outlined this vision of the future.
As the Arab Spring continues the real interesting back story is social media. If technology is the artifact of globalization and modernity then governments who are attempting to repress freedom should beware. Technology is a enabler of revolutions. Always has and always will.
This time the power to connect people, with real time communications is transformational as we have seen in the Middle East and North Africa. This is the beginning.
Social media like Twitter and Facebook are powerful social networking tools that combined with the 5 Billion cell phones on the planet are creating a new world wide broadcast channel for person to person communications. The organizers of the Arab Spring in now five nations in this region are using social media to connect, communicate and enable their revolutions.
Actual dates were published by organizers in Egypt and Libya calling for protests and organization. A mobile map with timelines was published via Twitter. This is a fundamental shift in the use of technology to influence even change the power structures of society.
The larger and perhaps amazing story is I think about the self-organizing systems that are playing out in the Arab Spring phenomena. As more nations go into turmoil and driven by the large majority of under 25 year old’s screaming for social change, the more we may see the workings of emergent systems that are connected, aligned and moving together. Some with their own mind.
Emergent self-organizing smart systems are new forms of technology enabled global networks that will transform the planet–some dark some light. Is this the Hive Mind at work? Or a quantum type of new organization mind at work evolving to meet the social needs of its inventors?
Self organizing smart systems, social and political just like emerging computer networks have a collective unconscious Hive Mind at work. Smart Systems, intelligent evolving organizations of people, aligned around a similar ideology, across in this case nations in the Arab Spring Revolution are demonstrating via social networks like Twitter a new form of order and community.
This year we are going to have to redefine the economy. Too many innovations are emerging that are blowing up business models but I do know this: The Mashup Economy is coming.
The Mashup Economy is all about the convergence of new media, social networks, influence management, predictive analytics, mobility and Web 2.0. This is not your father’s economy (or mothers!) The point is that a collision of new innovative even disruptive tech will be offering new business models-watch or serious games, social selling, virtual world markets and person to person marketing.
The currency of new ideas will rule. Learn the new language of the Mashup, the Mashup Economy.